Johannesburg - The newly appointed Eskom board carries the responsibility to ensure that the turnaround plan it needs to develop urgently for the power utility restores the confidence of investors and contributes towards South Africa’s economic recovery in the shortest time possible, the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) said.

“Patriotism, which seems to have eluded previous boards, must be the guiding principle if the new one is to succeed in the mammoth task that it has been charged with," Sanco national spokesman Jabu Mahlangu said.

"There must be no doubt about its commitment to placing a high premium on integrity, prudent financial and contract management, good corporate governance, including repositioning the entity as a global player. We hope that obstructionists that have been holding the entity to ransom will realise that there is no turning back, the time for games is over.

“The intervention at Eskom gives us hope and heralds the beginning of self-correction and a hands-on administration for meaningful change,” Mahlangu said.

On Saturday, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa announced far reaching measures intended to improve governance as well as restore the integrity of Eskom.

Phakamani Hadebe had been appointed acting CEO with immediate effect, while Telkom chairman Jabu Mabuza would take over as chairman of the Eskom board. All Eskom executives facing allegations of serious corruption and other acts of impropriety, including Matshela Koko and Anoj Singh, would be "removed immediately". The new board had also been instructed to appoint a permanent group chief executive officer and a group financial officer within the next three months.

This followed a meeting of President Jacob Zuma, Ramaphosa, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Friday to address urgent problems at the company. This intervention would be ratified by Cabinet at its next meeting.

"Eskom is critical to the South African economy. As a key enabler of economic growth and social transformation any further deterioration of Eskom’s financial and operational conditions could have a severe impact on the country," he said.

The new board members are Jabu Mabuza (chairman); Sifiso Dabengwa; Sindi Mabaso-Koyana; Mark Lamberti; Tshepo Mongalo; Malegapuru Makgoba; Busisiwe Mavuso; Nelisiwe Magubane; Rod Crompton; George Sebulela; Pulane Molokwane; Banothile Makhubela; and Jacky Molisane.

“We are confident this intervention will restore the important contribution Eskom makes to our economy. We are determined to address the damage that has been done to this institution and place it on a new path of efficiency and integrity," said Ramaphosa.

African News Agency/ANA